CIC Toronto Branch Leadership Biographies
Fraser Mann is a founding partner of Mann Symons LLP, and was previously a partner at several prominent Canadian law firms. He practices primarily in the areas of technology, procurement, e-health and intellectual property law. He acts for various clients in the public sector, including government ministries and agencies, crown corporations, municipalities, hospitals, colleges and other institutions. He also represents various suppliers and users of technology products and services in the private sector. He represents clients at all stages of the procurement cycle, with a particular focus on large outsourcing agreements, IT service agreements (including cloud-based agreements), software licenses and software development agreements.
Fraser is Past President of the Canadian Information Technology Law Association (IT.Can). He has served as Chair of the International Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association, Co-Chair of the Technology Law Committee of the International Bar Association and director of York Technology Association. He is the author of Computer Technology and the Law in Canada, co-author of Internet Law, and co-editor of Electronic Commerce: A Practitioner’s Guide and of Mann’s Technology Law News.
Fraser has been recognized as a leading lawyer in technology law by various national and international publications, including Chambers Global Guide (where he has been ranked in Tier 1 of Technology lawyers in Canada), LEXPERT, the International Who’s Who of Internet and e-Commerce Lawyers and Best Lawyers in Canada.
Branch Vice-President / Programming Chair
Andrew Defor is a Diplomatic Strategist and Senior Researcher in Foreign Policy and Global Health. He also acts as Permanent Representative and Head of Mission at YPFP Toronto. Since 2008, he has acquired extensive foreign policy, international affairs, global health and diplomatic professional experience through his work at the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and many other Canadian international NGO’s like the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada. He currently serves as Programming Chair of the Canadian International Council’s Toronto Branch.
His academic background spans the fields of Pharmacology, Global Health, Public Policy, Foreign Policy and Diplomacy. He recently became a candidate of the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Global Health.
Anthony Ilukwe is a technologist with a background in software engineering and management in mobile and SaaS. From a young age, Anthony has been immersed in global affairs and an acute sense of the larger world. Anthony brings a perspective on the role of technology in discourse about issues impacting the world currently and in the future. His other interests include: Manchester United FC, producing music, Scrabble, and obsessively listening to Spotify or BBC Radio.
Fraser Holman served in the RCAF for 35 years as a fighter pilot, leader and executive. Retiring from the air force as a Major-General in 1996, he worked for 14 years as a senior facilitator/ mentor at the Canadian Forces College Toronto in support of professional development programmes for senior officers of the Canadian Forces, allied military officers and members of the public service. He was recently appointed the Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Forces College.
Holman has served as a Director and Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, as well as a Director of the Atlantic Council of Canada. He is a member of the Strategic Studies Working Group of the Canadian International Council, as well as the Aircrew Association in Toronto, the Royal Canadian Legion, the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto, the Conference of Defence Associations Institute in Ottawa, the Air Force Association of Canada, and the Canadian Air and Space Museum in Toronto. In 2000, he wrote a monograph entitled NORAD in the New Millennium, published by Irwin.
Shoaib currently works as an analyst for TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, one of Canada’s largest insurance companies. Prior to joining TD Insurance, Shoaib worked for IBM Canada and Bell TV, Canada’s largest satellite television provider. Shoaib graduated with a degree in Public Administration and Governance from Ryerson University, and holds a certificate in Project Management from the University of Toronto.
On a volunteer basis, in addition to being on the branch executive, Shoaib was a committee member for One Night Stand – Take a Stand for Children’s Mental Health, and created the Gopalani Family Fund at the Royal Ontario Museum, for children with special needs to visit at no charge. Shoaib was elected to the Board of Directors for DEBRA Canada (working on behalf of those affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa) in March 2010 and continues to be involved. Shoaib is Director for the St. Paul’s and Halton Federal Liberal Riding Associations, supporting fundraising and outreach initiatives.
Henry Lotin is a recently retired Foreign Service Officer of the Department of Global Affairs Canada (now DFATD), who also served the Federal Departments of Industry Canada and Indian Affairs and Northern Development over a 30+ years Public Service Career. Assignments have spanned Trade Promotion, Trade and Economics Policy (including G7 Summitry), Innovation and Commercialization (secondments with Industry Canada), Reconstruction and Human Rights. Foreign assignments included UN New York, New Delhi and the Canadian Delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Vienna. Henry obtained a Bachelor and Masters Degree from the University of Toronto.(BA Administration Coop.MA Public Administration and Economics). Mid-career he also received a Masters Certificate in European Institutions from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. Henry has been active with both the Atlantic Council of Canada and Canadian International Council since being an Undergraduate. He has also been active with the Couchiching Institute of Public Affairs.
Renee van Kessel
Renee van Kessel is a corporate/commercial lawyer in private practice in Toronto with Cohen LLP, a charter member of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms. Prior to beginning her own practice, Renee spent over 10 years as in-house counsel to some of Canada’s best known organizations, including the LCBO, the AIR MILES® Program, and OWL Magazine and Television. Renee received her Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, her B.A.(Honours) in Political Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, and recently her Masters in National Security and Defence Policy at the Canadian Forces College.
Renee has a long-standing interest in international affairs and conflict resolution, sitting on the board of the CIC Toronto for the past 10 years, advising Proyecto Accesso (a democratization organization for Latin America), participating in the organization and facilitation of the Worldview Conflict Resolution Conference for students in 2005, providing Canadian counsel to the Centre for Peace Through Culture, and in 1993, was a founding member of the Canadian Chapter of the Canadian German Lawyers’ Association.
Ilyes Saidani is currently a broker with Solar Brokers Canada in addition to completing his Honours BA at the University of Toronto (Victoria College) in Ethics, Society, and Law. As a renewable energy broker Ilyes has contributed to the fight against climate change by assisting in the completion of numerous investments in solar energy.
At the University of Toronto, Ilyes has been an Associate Editor at The Strand Paper, the co-founder of several student-based political organizations such as Awakened Youth Against Apathy (AYAA), and a finalist at select annual Law & Business case competitions. Ilyes holds high interest in global affairs, currently holding a Deputy-Ambassador position on the board of the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy Toronto Branch. On a volunteer basis, Ilyes continues to work with The Semiotones, a beloved band based out of Victoria College that plays for SickKids charity fundraising.
Aaron is an associate lawyer at Aird & Berlis LLP practicing primarily in corporate finance and corporate-corporate finance and corporate-commercial law. In the past Aaron has been a volunteer report writer for the Canadian Senate’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes.
Aaron holds a Master of Laws in European and International Business Law from Université Lyon III Jean Moulin, a Juris Doctor degree from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Political Science from the University of British Columbia. Aaron has also studied international business law at the Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle in the UK and international relations theory at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris in France.